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Phone:
727-343-BLUE
727-343-2583

Address: Get Map Here
2913 Beach Boulevard South
Gulfport, FL 33707

Our Fall Hours:
Monday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Saturday:
4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Sunday :
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Closed: THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR'S DAY, SUPER BOWL AND EASTER

 

We are proud of the many ACCOLADES that have been bestowed upon us through the years....

Thank you ladies and gentlemen journalists, reporters, critics and diners for your gracious, complimentary editorial Communiques, analysis and critiques.

We appreciate them all and will continue to strive to bring you great food and memorable occasions ...

               

JANUARY 13th 2005 - St. Petersburg Times - "Tampa Bay's BEST"
"These shady old streets are the perfect setting for backporch cooking done with care and generosity. Chef Harold Russell keeps his funky Gulfport perfectly simple - lump crabcakes, big prime rib, meatloaf and grouper - and remembers to get fresh vegetables".

               

St. Petersburg Times

St. Petersburg Times restaurant critic Chris Sherman offers his opinions in weekly reports.

Crab's namesake status is deserved in great crabcakes, chowder and the stuffing of almost anything else. Prime rib, meat loaf and vegetables are just as good. Come early to enjoy Gulfport's good vibrations while you wait. Warning: Closed on Tuesdays.


               

Backfin Blue knows the art of making Maryland crab cakes

By KATHY SAUNDERS © St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000    (Prices may have changed)

GULFPORT -- We phoned the Backfin Blue Cafe on a rainy Saturday night on our way home from a youth soccer game. It took a few minutes for the waiter to hand the phone to the bartender to take our carryout order. When we arrived at the Gulfport restaurant, we understood the delay -- the place was packed.
We flagged down a busboy, who said he would try to find our takeout order. Most of the dinner was already packaged, but the bartender said she did not want to wrap the Key lime pie until we arrived. We were grateful for her thoughtfulness.

Dinner was still hot when we got home about 15 minutes later.

The salads were large enough to fill a dinner plate and were fresh with mixed greens -- hardly a leaf of iceberg -- and plenty of red onions and tomatoes. The balsamic vinaigrette came on the side. We enjoyed the tangy dressing and could identify oregano and a few other fresh herbs.

Our entrees were delightful.

The Portobello Imperial ($14.95) is one of the house specialties. Backfin is known for its Maryland-style crab cakes.

"With a good crab cake you don't have to have a lot of filler, just crab," said owner Harold Russell, whose wife, Beth, is from Maryland.

The crab is mixed with mayonnaise, piled on the large mushroom and topped with a fire-roasted red bell pepper cream sauce. The dish was spicy and filling and about the size of a dessert plate.

We chose the sauteed vegetables as a side dish. The fresh vegetables, summer squash and zucchini, were lightly cooked and crunchy.

In the restaurant's signature dish, jumbo crab cakes ($14.50), the filling has more crumbs than mayonnaise, unlike the portobello mushroom, Russell said.

The macadamia nut crusted grouper ($15.50) was fresh, flaky and not overcooked. The grouper was baked and topped with a crumbly, buttery, macadamia nut coating that was sweet and crunchy.

I grew up in Hawaii and have tasted many macadamia nut dishes, but Backfin's is one of the best I've sampled.

Backfin is in the Art Village district of Gulfport in a house built in 1927 that seats about 50. Russell and his wife take turns cooking and managing the restaurant and caring for their 4-month-old twins.

Russell, former chef at Shula's Steak House in Tampa, opened Backfin more than three years ago. He said he brought some of his Tampa dishes to Gulfport, including bacon-wrapped, basil-stuffed barbecued shrimp ($10.95).

Backfin also offers a five-cheese lasagna ($9.50), homemade meatloaf ($8.95) and slow-roasted prime rib starting at $11.95. The prime rib is available after 5 p.m.

We also purchased a loaf of molasses bread ($1.50), which Russell buys from a Bradenton baker. The multigrain bread was soft and sweet with a smooth molasses flavor.

Desserts (all $3.50) also are provided by local bakers. We ordered a slice of Key lime pie, which was fresh and yellow, as it is supposed to be, not lime green like the pretenders. Cheesecake and chocolate suicide cake with cocoa pudding, cream cheese icing and raspberry puree were on the menu the night we called.

Puree of corn and crab meat soup is $3.50 a bowl.

Appetizers include a crab cake with lemon and remoulade sauce ($6.95), a portobello mushroom with gorgonzola cheese ($5.50) and smoked fish spread with crackers ($4.50).

Besides the house salad ($3.50), Backfin Blue offers sliced tomatoes with gorgonzola, red onion and vinaigrette ($5.95) and a spinach and mushroom salad with sliced chicken ($6.50) or with the bacon-wrapped, basil-stuffed shrimp ($7.95).

Sandwiches are $6.95 and $7.95 and include grouper, chicken, grilled portobello, meatloaf and the Backfin specialty, crab cakes.

Backfin also offers a children's menu with hot dogs, spaghetti, peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • What we got:

    Portobello mushroom stuffed with lump crab meat with roasted red bell pepper cream sauce and sauteed vegetables; macadamia nut crusted grouper with mashed potatoes; two dinner salads with balsamic vinaigrette; one loaf of multigrain molasses bread and a slice of Key lime pie.

  • What it cost: $37.93.
  • Time it took: 15 minutes.
  • Pay with: Cash and credit cards.
               

 

Be prepared to wait at this funky, friendly cafe that showcases the crab - owner-chef Harold Russell cooks about 150 pounds a week. Good suggestions include the Backfin Blue Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, portobello mushrooms and a macadamia nut-crusted fish dinner.


               

Tracey E. Meloni -  AOL City Guide
In the heart of the gateway to the Gulf, you'll find Backfin Blue Cafe, a charming 1920's-era pink and green cottage with a welcoming front porch. Think 'old Florida' fare, in a casual, laid-back setting. Backfin Blue draws fans from far and wide, but sorry, the staff doesn't take reservations. Be prepared to wait for your supper, but it will be worth it. Well-named, this place produces the best backfin blue crab cakes south of the Chesapeake: simple and succulent.

Specializing in super-fresh and simply prepared seafood, Backfin Blue offers a corn-and-crab chowder so good that folks come specifically for it. The gourmet meat loaf has its own fan club. It's made with gorgonzola and roasted red peppers, putting Mom's to shame. Portobello mushrooms get dressed up with gorgonzola, too. Basil-stuffed and bacon-wrapped giant shrimp with spinach salad make for delicious lighter fare. Try the chocolate suicide cake for dessert.

Average User Rating: *****

             

Bonnie Boots, Weekly Planet 2/23/99

Backfin Blue Cafe: Closed Tuesdays. Quaint little cafe with classy food, in the heart of the arty district. Great prime rib and meatloaf, excellent fish. Don't miss the corn puree with lump crabmeat or the crab cakes. Great desserts, too. Laid-back, casual and definitely tasty.